Southern Miss completed a three-game sweep over the Holy Cross Crusaders with a 4-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Southern Miss’ afternoon began as well as they could ever hope, with a solo home run by leadoff batter Gabe Montenegro in the bottom of the first inning.
“I’m always looking for the fastball,” Montenegro said. “He threw one, and I was able to take advantage of it.”
Things were rather dormant from then on until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Golden Eagles began capitalizing on hits for runs. Wallner scored on a single hit by Danny Lynch in his first at-bat of the game after substituting in for Jacob Edwards at third base.
In the bottom of the seventh, Montenegro scored again on a sacrifice fly hit to left field by Matt Wallner. The run brought Montenegro’s season total to a team-high 14.
“He’s sparking us,” Berry said about his centerfielder “After he led us off with that home run in the first I thought, ‘Here we go!’ We talked about it in pregame that this was going to be the day that we break out of that slump.”
Guidry scored on a passed ball in the following at-bat, bringing the score to 4-0, where it remained until the end of the contest.
The win was credited to left-handed pitcher Adam Jackson, who started the game and gave up zero runs on two hits through four innings on the mound. Cody Carroll continued to turn heads in what has been a spectacular week of pitching, tying his career high strikeout total of six—which was set just last week—and only giving up one hit in 10 Crusader at-bats. Carroll has now struck out 16 batters in his last three trips to the mound.
Berry said he believes Carroll’s boost in production is due to age and experience. “You always hope that as a guy gets older, he gets better. And I think that’s what [Carroll] has done. He’s understanding how to pitch now. As you move up through the levels you’ve got to be able to utilize all your stuff. That’s what you’re finally seeing out of him, and it’s coming at a really good time.”
Montenegro finished the afternoon 1-for-3 at the plate with two runs and one RBI. Matt Wallner, who had struggled recently at the plate, also went 1-for-3 with one run and an RBI. The save was awarded to pitcher Ryan Och, who came in to pitch the top of the ninth and retired the side in order.
Now riding a four-game winning streak, Southern Miss will begin a four-game road trip, starting Wednesday in Lafayette, Louisiana against the Ragin’ Cajuns and ending with a three-game series at Louisiana Tech to open Conference USA competition.